Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Patched into the club, a celebration

A proud evening for me tonight, at the monthly meeting of the Meeulanders motorcycle club I got patched along with Gerrie and Johan. I've been a prospect for about three months and wasn't expecting to be patched so soon but as the President, Div., pointed out I have been riding with the club for a long time and was a member for a couple of years way back when the club was first started.
My old biker buddy Frank presented me with my patch which I really appreciated because he and I go back a long way and usually misbehave at the rallies together, here begins a new chapter; me as a club biker - I have always been a loner type but I must confess to a real sense of pride being a member of the club, maybe it's my age? Whatever it is I'm enjoying it and I'm fully adopting my new status, watch this space!
Two weeks time sees us heading for the Beaver Rally in Montagu so I'll tell you all about that one, the last time I went to a Beaver was in Heidelberg, quite a long way farther than Montagu and since my last rally was the Buff in Mosselbay I'm really looking forward to this one.
Stay safe and keep the faith and we'll talk again soon.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Offal potjie for lunch

Really good weather now, Saturday we went for a local cruise out to Club Mykonos to have a look at what's happening at the festival, which has been on the go for the whole week. It was a bit of a disappointment though, looked like it was winding down. We sat on the Marina deck and enjoyed a bitterly cold Castle draught but there wasn't much going on.
Here's me eagerly awaiting the arrival of my draught beer. There was a muso warming up on the stage behind me and probably the place would fill up a bit for lunch but we decided to move on because the food has been rather disappointing there of late.
Janet suggested "Offal potjie" at "Vlakvarkgat" out on the R27 - perfect! Just what I felt like. You will have read of this strangely named place in past posts, it's difficult for me to try and explain what it means, the closest I can get is "Shallow pig hole", some of my friends might correct me, I speak Afrikaans pretty well but I'm not fluent.
It's a very nice casual place, good pub food and it is popular with the biking fraternity, biker friendly they host a rally every year. The site is huge with three pubs, a big swimming pool and plenty of grass and shade for camping, we go there fairly often and I have had the offal pot before and really enjoyed it.
Served in a three-legged pot, steaming hot with sweet pumpkin and Samp, for those who are unfamiliar with this meal let me explain; proper offal consists of a mixture of the gut of a lamb or sheep with other offcuts like the stomach, intestines and often the feet. Liver and kidneys are also considered offal but they are not usually included in this pot but are eaten separately. This was all in a delicious lightly curried gravy. It may sound disgusting to many but it is a very popular food here in South Africa, especially amongst the black people.
Samp is white corn often mixed with "Sugar beans", tender and tasty, altogether a very satisfying meal.
Janet had the same meal, she enjoyed it so much that there wasn't anything left for me! Less than R250 with a bottle of ice cold Sauvignon Blanc and the gratuity, I consider that a bargain, we'll be back.
A pleasant ride home in the warm early afternoon sun rounded off an altogether very enjoyable day out. We are fortunate here on the cape west coast, there are plenty of really good, mostly reasonably priced eateries within a forty kilometer radius so we eat out a lot, in fact it's one of our favourite pastimes, see you there.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Good run for a bad breakfast

Sunday morning dawned bright and calm with the promise of a lovely day, we met at the Engen One Stop as usual for our monthly breakfast run and chatted over coffee while we waited for others to arrive. Janet had other things to do and had elected to stay home, I was loose on the land and itching to ride. Just the quick 20km from home to the garage had been enjoyable and there was more to come.
 I don't often feature in my own blog, here chatting with Frank - picture by Gerrie Pieterse.
By 09h30 there were only ten of us on seven bikes and that looked like that was all there was going to be so we saddled up and hit the road. The R27 to Capetown has unfortunately got the speed restriction in the form of the gantries every 20km so we kept our speed down to around 130kmh and just had a steady cruise in our usual staggered formation. It was pleasant nonetheless and I tootled along happily.
What we did notice was literally hundreds of bikers heading up our way, many large groups passed by including several large groups of Harley riders, what were we missing? Later I was to discover that there was a Harley festival on at Club Mykonos, though by the number of other makes we saw it was not restricted to Harley.
We had planned to have breakfast at the bush pub near Melkbos but had heard that it was closed for renovations, Div decided to check this out and if it was closed we would carry on to the Viper Lounge.
 It is still closed but we were informed that it would re-open in two to three weeks, anyway after an hour on the road some people need to smoke and this provided an ideal opportunity. By now we were feeling the heat, it was going to be a scorcher.
Proceeding onwards we turned right at the Melkbos traffic lights and followed the coastal road down to Marine Drive and through to Table View, immediately I felt the drop in temperature along the coast, welcome relief!
I haven't been to the Viper Lounge for many months so it was good to be there again, the place was quiet obviously because the Capetown bikers were all heading up to Langebaan so we had no trouble getting a seat, it was 10h56 so they did not refuse us our much needed beers!
We all placed our breakfast orders and settled down, there's always eye-candy at the Viper Lounge; here in the form of a huge Victory cruiser with a rather attractive blue and white colour scheme.
We waited and we waited, the place still wasn't busy so why the long wait? We were informed that they had run out of sausages (??) so Div went over the road to the 7/11 and bought a packet which he gave to them.
 (Picture by Gerrie Pieterse) It was well after midday by the time the food started arriving and I was so happy to get mine that I made a smiley face!
I was a bit premature though, it was cold! Also most of the people had by then eaten most of their food and their toast hadn't arrived, pretty much a disaster, I hate to think what it would have been like if it had been busy! Anyway we still had a good time together but I think we'll choose a different venue for breakfast next time.
The general consensus was to stop at "Vlakvarkgat" on the way home for an ABF so off we went, we got pretty much separated by the heavy traffic on Marine Drive on the way out and I found myself alone on the R27 and travelling way too fast, perhaps I'll find out if those bloody gantries are active or just an "eye-blinder"?
I stopped in a lay-bye for a leak and also to allow some time to pass before going through the next gantry and saw 35 degrees on my dash, on leaving the pub a little later though it was up to 37,5 and still there was no wind, a portent of things to come? We're barely out of Spring so how's Summer going to be?
It was a good day out with good people and we have had good breakfast at the Viper Lounge in the past, maybe this was an off day so we'll give them another chance later on.
The Meeulanders will be handing over the proceeds of the tin run held last week pretty soon so I'll let you know how much was collected, in the meantime stay safe and keep the shiny side up!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lovely lunch at the Oystercatcher restaurant in Langebaan

It was a fantastic day for riding today so we decided to get out and cruise through to Langebaan for some lunch at the Oystercatcher restaurant. We used to go there but for various reasons haven't been back for more than a year, time to give it another go.
I was pleased to discover that Charles, who used to be Chef at Driftwoods is now the owner of the restaurant and the Deli, I parked the big red machine where I could keep an eye on it,
the bikers reading this will know what I am talking about, who needs a sea view when there's a motorbike to look at? We sat and perused the menu while we chatted with Charles. Lots of good looking seafood on offer, I chose a starter of "tubes and tentacles" and Janet opted for a prawn cocktail. Both were absolutely delicious;
the calamari had a perfect texture, neither too soft nor too hard, the tentacles were slightly crispy and definitely not oily as can be the case and the tartare sauce tasted home made, maybe it wasn't but it was certainly very delicately flavoured, creamy with thinly sliced vegetables instead of overly large chunks.
Janet's prawn cocktail was perfect, I know because she let me taste it! Lovely fresh prawns and plenty of them, she declared it to be the best prawn cocktail she's ever had!
That was fresh Yellowtail, and a generous portion, lovely stuff!
Janet's deep fried Hake was also fresh and according to her, delicious but she couldn't finish it, perhaps next time she will have two starters instead of a main, or just skip the starter. I was so full I couldn't finish her meal either but I cleaned my own plate!
The prices are reasonable, we had a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and an extra glass of house dry white wine for me, two starters and two mains and with a gratuity for the attentive waitress - I refuse to call her a "waitron" - the bill came to R410, to me that's excellent value at R200 each.
The menu is quite varied, from breakfast through quite a variety of seafood with combos and platters to steaks and burgers, well done Charles, we'll definitely be back and I have no hesitation in recommending the place.
Next time you guys and girls ride out to Langebaan check out the Oystercatcher on the left hand side as you ride in, give it a go, you won't be disappointed.